Tetsuya Nomura talks about the Kingdom Hearts III art style
As the trailers for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III have shown, the new game will feature more of a brush style art style than a photorealistic style. Tetsuya Nomura went on to explain the reason for this during an interview.
Said Mr. Nomura, “”We don’t have an official name for it, but we have something called the ‘Kingdom Shader.’ We showed it in the E3 trailer, but it’s our attempt to ‘Express Disney’s 2D brushwork in 3D.’ When deciding on the graphical direction for Kingdom Hearts III, we talked with [Square Enix’s Takeshi] Nozue and the rest of Square Enix’s visual development department, Visual Works, and had them prepare several different styles. Some were in a ‘brushwork-like style’ and they were developed into what you saw at E3. We have a development base where Visual Works makes a pre-rendered movie that we convert into a real-time render.”
He went on to add, “”Ever since the first game, we’ve strived for a Disney-like brush quality in the graphic gradations. At the time, the [PlayStation 2] didn’t have the processing power to allow us to freely adjust the lighting, so we had to make the brush-like visuals as textures. But the new hardware has become much more capable, so there is no ‘no using lights’ option. You can’t get a real feeling of evolution by just making the standard graphics into HD, and I thought that simply recreating the pre-rendered movies from Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II isn’t the direction we should be going for the series in the next generations, so the ‘Kingdom Shader’ was born.”
He did not confirm any worlds or characters, however, stating that that information would be available “as time goes on”.
What are your thoughts on the art style and the reasoning behind it?